The Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian: Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometres) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Once known as the "Sandwich Islands", the name chosen by James Cook in honour of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the archipelago now takes its name from the largest island in the cluster. The U.S. state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety, with the sole exception of Midway island, which is instead an unincorporated territory within the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth's mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.
Honopū Valley is a landmark valley within Nā Pali Coast State Park along the northwest shore of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi. It is known for its distinctive natural arch, which at approximately 90 feet (27 m) tall is the tallest in Hawaii. At the lower end of the valley is Honopū's secluded, 0.25-mile (0.40 km) beach, also known as Cathedral Beach.
Honopū means "conch shell", and the valley's name is derived from the conch shell-like sound its arch makes when hit by winds from the north.